Board Chair/Superintendent Update 9/24/2021

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September 24, 2021

Dear Students, Families, and Staff, 

We hope this letter finds you well, and that you are enjoying the first few official days of fall. On behalf of the Board of Education, we are very pleased that all of our students have returned for in-person learning experiences this year. The opening weeks of school are proceeding well and we want to acknowledge the collective efforts of our teachers, administrators, and support staff (school nurses, paraprofessionals, tutors, secretaries, substitute teachers, coaches and hall monitors) for all of the careful planning that went into ensuring a smooth reopening. We are appreciative to be working with a new bus company, New Britain Transportation, and we want to acknowledge their efforts to transport our students to and from school each day in a safe and timely manner. In addition, we want to provide special recognition for our food service workers, our crossing guards, our informational technology staff, and our facilities crew. These unsung heroes work diligently every day to feed our students; to keep our walkers safe on crosswalks and in parking lots; to ensure that all teachers and students are provided with access to the critical technology devices that assist with instruction and enhance learning experiences; and to keep our buildings safe, clean, and attractive. The contributions of these employees are invaluable and we simply could not educate the children in Rocky Hill without them. 

Below, we have included some helpful information and general reminders: 

  • Please see the attached link that details the school reopening plan: School Reopening Information

  • Please see the attached document, Addendum 5, Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in Connecticut School Districts. This addendum is used by our school nurses and administrators when responding to positive COVID-19 cases or suspected cases:  Addendum 5  

  • Please do not send a child to school if that child is not feeling well and/or is experiencing any symptoms of illness. Instead, please contact your school nurse to discuss the return-to-school protocol if your child is not feeling well or is exhibiting symptoms. 

  • If your child has been recently exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the school nurse before sending the child to school. 

  • Please see the attached link regarding vaccine clinic information: https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/covid-vaccine/locations

  • The final link we have provided lists state-supported COVID-19 testing locations. Persons being tested for COVID-19 at these sites will be asked for insurance information but there will be no out-of-pocket expenses. If insurance does not cover the cost, the bill will be waived. Individuals without health insurance will be tested but will not be charged. State supported testing sites

As of today, we are pleased to report that the school district is experiencing very low numbers with respect to COVID-19 cases and individuals in quarantine (both for students and staff). Our COVID-19 dashboard continues to be updated at the conclusion of each workday on a Monday through Friday basis. Even though we are encouraged by these data, we must all continue to remain vigilant in terms of adhering to our mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing, masking, limiting visitors to the schools, remaining home if not feeling well) as the delta variant is still present here in Connecticut. 

In closing, rest assured that we will maintain an unwavering focus on providing all children with an outstanding, in-person learning experience while doing all that we can to promote safety and good public health.  We certainly understand that the various restrictions and mitigation strategies in place can be frustrating for everyone, and we appreciate your continued patience as this pandemic approaches two years in duration. Despite these ongoing challenges, we remain confident in the Rocky Hill school community and we know that our collective efforts - efforts which involve all students, families, and staff members - will allow us to strive for excellence throughout the 2021-22 school year and beyond. 

With appreciation and gratitude,

Brian A. Dillon, Chairman, Rocky Hill Board of Education

Mark Zito, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools